Original Report, Taxes, Uncategorized

Food stamp usage in Colorado continues at all-time highs

The number of Colorado households and individuals obtaining assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Plan (SNAP, also commonly known as food stamps) continues to mark all-time high numbers in Colorado. The numbers, however, show no significant signs of trending either up or down.

According to data from the Colorado Department of Human Services, the number of individuals receiving SNAP assistance has remained at over 500,000 for the last 15 consecutive months for which data is available (October 2012 to December 2013). Prior to October 2012, the number of Coloradans on SNAP had never crossed the half-million mark.

Click on the graph below for a larger version.


Similarly, the number of households on SNAP, which closely mirrors trends on individuals, is also marking all-time highs. Data shows households receiving SNAP assistance has been over 230,000 from December 2012, to and including December 2013, a string of 13 consecutive months. Prior to December 2012, the number of households on SNAP had never crossed the 230,000 mark.

However, the number of “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWD) on SNAP peaked in the state’s fiscal year of 2010.* In that year, 18,815 ABAWD individuals were on SNAP, but those numbers have since returned to 2006-’07 levels, a fiscal year in which 9,688 ABAWDs were on SNAP.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Colorado also led all neighboring states in the percentage increase of food stamp growth for individuals from 2009 to 2013.

Four-year food stamp increase for individuals by state:

Colorado 59%

New Mexico 51%

Kansas 45%

Wyoming 42%

Utah 36%

Texas 35%

Nebraska 34%

Oklahoma 31%

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